The distinctions among London bed and breakfasts, full-fledged London hotels and London boutique hotels which set each group apart have nothing to do with size, amenities or services provided. It quite simply comes down to a matter of “style”.
Boutique hotels revolve around a theme, and each room within the hotel reflects that theme individually. Sometimes each room will have a name to denote its adherence to the topic and the room will be decorated in keeping with it.
London boutiques are fantastic examples of this increasingly popular type of hotel. They are real experts in demonstrating how it should be done using imagination and good taste. Even when over-the-top, the British boutiques still come shining through as comfortable and beautiful gems that you will enjoy and want to get back to. In many cases, you’ll be so allured by the many displays of unusual items to feast your eyes on that you may not want to venture outside!
If you’ve ever been to Miller’s Residence, you’ll know what I mean. This lovely luxury boutique is set in the style of a 18th-century house. They have an eclectic assortment of rooms all echoing shades of the past surrounded by antiques and curiosities. All of their rooms are named after famous romantic poets to help get your imagination in gear. Choose from Keats, Blake, Byron, Shelley, Coleridge, Browning, Tennyson or Wordsworth. Each one is filled to the rafters with paintings, books, knick knacks, mirrors, period pieces and furniture all reminiscent of the era and the famed poet it is honouring.
For total and complete opulence in an Italian style, there is the Baglioni Hotel. This London boutique is one of many Baglioni hotels throughout Europe and has won the distinctive recognition as one of the “Leading Small Hotels of the World”. This Tuscan-inspired hotel will greet you with a beautiful fountain, Italian ceramic and stone floors and unbelievable gold vases brimming with white roses. There are more than 50 suites here, and you will have access to a personal shopper, a butler, spa, fitness centre, and don’t forget the chauffeur-driven Maserati Quattroporte! The rooms are decorated in sumptuous fabrics, and linens with gorgeous Venetian glass and mirrors all put together in a refined elegance.
When looking for a boutique – in London – here are a few tips to help in your selection:
- Decide on where you want to stay, i.e. which area of London, before looking at the choices.
- If you have predetermined needs, such as WiFi in your room, write these down. Most of the boutiques we show you will more-than-likely have these, but better just be sure.
- Is it necessary for you to be by a tube stop?
- How easy will it be to grab a cab?
- One of my absolute favourite boutiques is Blakes. But it’s tucked away in a residential area of Chelsea, and sometimes it can be difficult to grab a taxi. (Chelsea in the evenings is especially hard to find a cab as there are some great restaurants in the area and many people are finishing up their meals and leaving at the same time.) You may need to walk to the main road. If you’re unsure and this is important to you, call the hotel to see if they’ve a doorman who will fetch one for you.
With all of those items checked, now it’s time to determine which hotel offers your preferred style. Do you like minimalist decor or are you a Victorian-ambience junky? There are so many styles of boutiques in London that we have classified them to help you narrow down your choices by what you’re looking for such as:
* Traditional British
* Quirky English
* Modern Trendy
Within each of these groupings, below are the London boutiques which are reviewed by Mr and Mrs Smith’s. Their reviews are not the typical ones you see on the internet; but rather they offer offbeat, tongue-in-cheek observations melded with honest impressions.
One thing is sure, if you choose to stay in the Quirky English boutique, The Gore, and remain in the Judy Garland room, (where you’ll sleep in her bed), you will know you’re not in Kansas anymore!
There are so many styles of boutiques in London that we have classified them to help you narrow down your choices by what you’re looking for such as:
- Traditional British
- Quirky English
- Modern Trendy
Just on the edge of Leicester Square, London’s version of Times Square, the Radisson Edwardian Leicester Square offers a different atmosphere than other hotels near 02. With just 60 guestrooms, the boutique-style hotel is a calm hideaway from the business of the surrounding area.
The hotel’s cool style includes original art and soft coloured leathers conjure up the feeling of an oasis. Traditional amenities like a health centre and business centre are complemented by a full-service concierge, free hotel-wide Wi-Fi, available valet parking, and baggage storage. International travellers will appreciate the multilingual staff, currency change service and international sockets in each guest room. Environmentally conscious travellers will appreciate the fact that this London hotel has been awarded the Silver Award by the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
The beauty of the guest rooms rivals that of the best London hotels. Décor is modern with leather walls, granite bathroom floors, and bathrooms addressed in marble and glass. Plasma televisions and satellite access provide a range of entertainment options, and guests can make coffee and tea in-room. During the day, guests can leave their luggage at the front desk for safe storage. For a splurge, guests can indulge in a range of available in-room spa services.
Inside the hotel, the Leicester Square Bar & Restaurant has a relaxed and intimate atmosphere with British favourites and a focus on seafood. A host of other eateries is just outside of the hotel, so visitors have a plethora of options. Entertain options abound, as well, at close theatres, cinemas, bars, and area attractions. Nearby areas of London include West End, Chinatown and Covent Gardens.
The hotel is within walking distance of:
- National Gallery
- Buckingham Palace
- Houses of Parliament
- London Aquarium
- Royal Opera House
- St. James’ Place
For travellers venturing further, the Radisson Edwardian Leicester Square hotel is minutes from the underground Piccadilly and Northern lines.
The Radisson Edwardian Leicester Square London hotel lives up to its classification as a solid 4-star hotel with a broader range of tourist services than many other London hotels. Guest reviews praise its location, first and foremost, full-service staff and comfortable, modern furnishings.
Steps away from Buckingham Palace and minutes away from Westminster Abbey,
Rubens at the Palace is the kind of place that puts guests right in the middle of the action. An impressive, grand hotel with amenities to suit any taste, Rubens is the perfect place for visitors who seek the royal experience.
The décor of Rubens at the Palace is reminiscent of the homes of English aristocracy; furnishings and accessories have a delicious feeling to them. It offers 151 guestrooms and 18 suites, each of which is air-conditioned and feature beautiful furnishings that match the air of the place. Rooms have free high-speed internet, work desks, on-demand movies, music libraries and state-of-art entertainment systems.
Service is a large part of the draw of the Rubens, and the property offers what few London hotels can. The concierge team is excellent, and there is both a pet concierge and a Director of Fun who arranges for activities for families and children. Maid service is available twice a day.
The hotel provides exceptional food and drinks at two restaurants, one with fine dining a la carte and the other a buffet, and two bars, including the Leopard Champagne Bar. Life music plays lightly, and the hotel’s breakfast buffet includes organic and healthy items. The Palace Lounge offers a unique experience; guests can take afternoon tea, enjoy a cocktail or partake in a snack while watching the action at Buckingham Palace Royal Mews, such as the Changing of the Guard.
In addition to Buckingham Palace, Rubens at the Palace is one of the prestigious hotels near Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and River Thames. Guests can indulge in exceptional shopping, museums and art galleries, all accessible with a walk or short tube ride; the nearest station is just a few minutes away. Since none of even the best London hotels can offer the views of the activities of the country’s royalty like Rubens, the 4-star hotel should be high on the list of travellers curious about British royalty.
The O2 stands as London’s central location for sports, shopping, history, art and many forms of entertainment. Each year, millions of visitors from across the globe are drawn to this spot to take in its architectural design, find a wealth of entertainment options and see some of the world’s finest entertainers, musicians and athletes.
Located on the Greenwich peninsula in the South East part of London, O2 is a massive entertainment district with a modern music club, 11-screen cinema, exhibition hall, and an area filled with bars, restaurants and activities to please anyone’s taste.
O2 sits on the location of the former Millennium Dome, a large facility erected to celebrate the new millennium. The Millennium Dome was open throughout the year 2000 with a plethora of exhibitions surrounding the themes of “who we are,” “what we do,” and “where we live.” After the close of the millennium exhibit, the dome and 150 acres around it were converted into a world-class entertainment and sports district with events, shopping, housing and businesses.Naming rights were sold to the telecommunications firm, O2.
The new venue opened in 2007 with a concert by Bon Jovi. The Millennium Dome was converted into the O2 Arena, and its exterior design still stands as part of the visual look for the current venue. The large, white dome with tall, yellow towers is recognisable as one of London’s top landmarks.
The O2 Arena is at the heart of this venue; its 23,000 seats make it one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe. Many of the world’s top musicians, particularly in the genres of pop, rock and classical, have graced the stages of this magnificent facility since its opening. The area is also designed for world-class sporting events, including the upcoming 2012 Olympics.
Performances from world-renowned acting troupes and ballet companies can also be enjoyed here. Huge numbers of visitors take in such performances at the arena, putting its ticket sales above other worldwide venues, including Madison Square Garden.
Smaller events are held in the venue’s indigO2, which holds 2,410 attendees. Also, to live shows and music concerts, indigO2 holds private events, club events, and corporate functions.
Cineworld @ O2 boasts the largest movie theatre in London, a 770-seat theatre; in total, Cineworld houses 11 screens spread throughout two floors. Popular, travelling exhibitions are frequently on display in the venue’s exhibition space. For easy access, the site is served by the close-by North Greenwich station.
Many hotels near O2 offer visitors exceptional stays and proximity to famous London sites. Surrounding O2, the Greenwich area of London is full of maritime history and scenic outdoor views of the river. The location’s close links with British royalty mean that visitors will have plenty to see of the area’s history.
Hotels Near the O2
The Strand Palace
Just five miles away from London’s 02, formerly called the Millennium Dome, sits the remodelled, contemporary Strand Palace. The hotel boasts about providing “exceptional value and unmatched location,” which is exactly what visitors will find: simple rooms priced well in a location near many of London’s best attractions.
St. Martin’s Lane
An urban resort that prides itself on being “smart, witty, and sophisticated,” St Martins Lane, a Morgans Original, stands alone amongst the traditional style hotels near O2 in this popular area of London
One of the famous West End London hotels, The Cavendish London offers a modern feel that may conceal its long history. The hotel’s long history of hospitality continues in a location that sits just minutes from the most frequented London attractions and just under six miles from 02, a short taxi or tube ride away.
Citadines Trafalgar Square
Citadines Trafalgar Square bills itself as an “Apart’hotel,” a hotel that consists of apartments and flats typically reserved on a short-term basis.
Best Western Premier Shaftesbury Piccadilly
The boutique-style refurbished Best Western Premier Shaftesbury Piccadilly hotel offers some of the perks found at the best London hotels, including fresh flowers, fruit, and refreshments in each guestroom. As one of the hotels near 02, the Best Western Premier is in a prime location for theatre-goers, foodies, sightseers, and others who are looking for the real London experience.
Radisson Edwardian Leicester Square
Just on the edge of Leicester Square, London’s version of Times Square, the Radisson Edwardian Leicester Square offers a different atmosphere than other hotels near 02. With just 60 guestrooms, the boutique-style hotel is a peaceful hideaway from the business of the surrounding area.
Club Quarters Trafalgar Square
Club Quarters, a hotel chain with a presence in both the UK and the United States, offers a centrally located, highly reviewed choice for travellers in Trafalgar Square.
At a little over 5 miles away from O2, Club Quarters, Trafaglar Square provides access to many popular London destinations via a short taxi ride or a quick 2-minute walk to the underground.
If you’ve been thinking about taking a holiday in London – but don’t believe that you have the funds – think again. Although it is certainly easy to fly through lots of money when touring this remarkable city, it’s also more than possible to have a well-rounded, full-fledged visit without breaking the bank. Doing this is easier than you think; you just have to be aware of a few key tips for travelling on the cheap. With these exceptional pieces of advice and by taking advantage of great travel deals London, you can easily enjoy a low-cost visit here.
Take Advantage Of Great Travel Deals When In London
Museums – Museums are a huge part of the draw in and around central London – and admission to several of the very best ones won’t cost you a penny. The British Museum, the Tate Modern, the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate Britain – and many others – boast free admission, allowing you to see some of the most remarkable exhibits and works of art without paying a thing. From works of art from some of the most esteemed talents on the planet to breathtakingly ancient artefacts, London’s free museums make great bookends for any holiday in the city.
Parks – London is bursting at its seams with well-manicured and elegantly appointed parks – and you can check them out without spending any cash whatsoever. From Kensington Gardens to Hyde Park, it is entirely possible to while away a good portion of a pleasant day at such parks. Pack a picnic lunch to make a day of it, and you’ll undoubtedly create wonderful memories of your tour of the city.
St. James Park
Theatre – No matter what city you’re in, visiting the theatre is a costly proposition. London is no exception, but there is a way around the high cost for those who are willing to be a bit flexible about what show they see. Stop by the TKTS booth in Leicester Square to see what’s being offered regarding deeply discounted theatre tickets. This is the only official place in the city to score such deals, and it could be well worth your while.
Travel Smart, Save Big
In addition to the superb travel deals outlined above, there are many great strategies that you can and should employ in order to keep your travel budget low while visiting London. For example:
- Stay on the periphery of the city to enjoy travel deals on fine hotels; take the Tube wherever you need to go to keep your transportation costs low.
- Carry a backpack stocked with snacks and drinks for you while you tour London. This will help you avoid the exorbitant prices at snack bars and restaurants, saving you big-time.
- Set aside a specific amount of cash for souvenirs on London-centric items, and stick to it. Once the money is gone, it’s gone.
- Avoid restaurants that are in the shadow of the main tourist attractions like Big Ben; stick to small, out-of-the-way establishments to keep your food costs low.